Fifteen organizations representing small business interests on Monday sent a letter to congressional leadership calling for a raft of antitrust bills to be brought to the floor.
The bills, approved by the House Judiciary Committee last year on a bipartisan basis, are crucial to addressing the monopoly power of America’s largest tech companies, the groups led by the progressive Institute for Local Self-Reliance nonprofit argue.
“Concentrated market power is the single biggest threat facing independent businesses, and the status quo in our digital markets is untenable,” the letter reads.
“The bipartisan package of bills is proof there is momentum on both sides of the aisle and represent an unprecedented opportunity to level the playfield for our small, independent businesses,” continue the groups, which include several regional organizations representing businesses in Cambridge, Ma., Spokane, Wash., and Austin, Texas.
The push from small business groups comes as tech companies and their trade organizations have ramped up their opposition to antitrust reform bills.
The bills advanced by the House committee have yet to get a floor vote amid lack of clear support from leadership, as well as opposition from some influential California Democrats.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has also put forward two bills — one on broader tech competition and one narrowly focused on app stores — that have yet to be voted on by the whole chamber.
“Big Tech lobbyists have flooded lawmakers’ offices with exaggerations and falsehoods about Congress’s push to address Big Tech’s gatekeeper power. They have frequently claimed to have the support of the small business community, even as recent reporting has shown otherwise,” the letter reads, citing reporting that found many purported members of one big tech-backed group unaware they were participating.
Several tech companies across the spectrum from startups to major firms like Yelp and DuckDuckGo teamed up with civil society groups earlier this month for a day of action pushing for antitrust reform.